New England Patriots

CINCINNATI, OHIO - DECEMBER 15: Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs onto the field as he is introduced before the game against the New England Patriots at Paul Brown Stadium on December 15, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

The Bengals are releasing quarterback Andy Dalton, as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The move saves Cincinnati $17.7 million on the cap and leaves Dalton free to sign with another team.

Question now is: are Bill Belichick and the Patriots interested?

The most recent major report from a reporter reporting a report came from Jeff Howe of The Athletic, who said Dalton hadn’t been discussed in the Patriots’ plans and “something would have to change” for Belichick to show any interest.

Welp. Something changed. Dalton is now a free agent and would likely cost next-to-nothing on his next team.

There it is. It’s an opening for our scorching hot takes! Don’t give ’em an inch!!!

via GIPHY

via GIPHY

The Patriots have an uncertain situation at quarterback with a relative unknown, second-year QB Jarrett Stidham out of Auburn, reportedly in the lead to start. Behind him is journeyman Brian Hoyer, who is now in his third stint with the Patriots, and undrafted free agents J’Mar Smith out of Louisiana Tech and Brian Lewerke out of Michigan State. But it’s only uncertain to us on the outside.

Maybe Belichick just really likes Stidham? *Shrugs so hard I fracture both clavicles*

Even Dalton off the street would be a pricey proposition for the Patriots in their current cap situation. They have the second-lowest post-draft cap space in the NFL at just $1.077 million.

The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport mentions the Jaguars, who hired former Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden as their new OC. Dalton worked with Gruden for the first three seasons of his career.

Dec 29, 2019; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) warms up prior to a game against the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Jacksonville is certainly a much more logical and reasonable conclusion than New England, even with Dalton free for the taking. But that’s not going to stop us. F*** Jacksonville! What does Florida have to do with Belichick winning a Super Bowl with Dalton just to win a pecker-measuring contest?

So fine. Let’s keep talking about this former Bengal bastard for another eight months.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.